WASHINGTON — Georgia U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde said a new rule requiring House members to pass through metal detectors before casting votes is illegal, and he plans to appeal the $5,000 fine he faces for refusing to do so.
“We represent 700,000 people in our districts, and the Constitution says that we cannot be impeded when we go to the floor to vote, and those metal detectors are unconstitutional,” the Athens Republican said during a Friday night interview on Fox News.
Clyde, a freshman lawmaker from Athens, and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas were both fined for refusing to be scanned on Thursday, Axios reported. That was the day that Democrats and 11 Republicans voted to remove Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committees; Clyde was among the 199 GOP members who voted against that measure.
Clyde and Gohmert are believed to be the first lawmakers to run afoul of the rule since the fines were implemented Tuesday.
The House, led by Democrats, signed off on docking members $5,000 the first time they refusing a scan or walked around a metal detector and $10,000 on the second offense.
Security scans are among the measures implemented after the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, but they have become a partisan flashpoint. As with the face mask mandates, some Republicans refused to comply. No GOP members voted in favor of adding fines for infractions.
Clyde’s office did not provide details about the incident resulting in his fine. On Fox News, he said he is gearing up for a court battle.
He has been here before. Clyde’s first exposure to politics was successfully challenging an IRS policy on money seized from businesses, which resulted in a law named after him.
He indicated during the Fox News interview with Laura Ingraham that he violated the rule on purpose to draw the fine.
“I’m going to appeal it, and then I’m going to take them to court, because this is unconstitutional,” he said. “We’re all set up to do that, but I had to have standing, Laura.”